New Delhi : Defence minister A K Antony has clarified that he did not mean any disrespect to the office of the President when he said, “I am not a madman” when asked if he was in the running for the post of the country’s first citizen.
“Vaat is dhis? I say vaat is dhis. I simbly said I am not a mad man to run in a veshti. You see, I find it difficult to run when I am wearing a veshti. And you people simbly created a controversy. Absolutely rubbish. No, let me clarify, I am neither running nor running away,” an annoyed Antony said.
But back home in Kerala, the Veshti Manufacturers Association of Kerala has slammed Antony for giving the humble attire a bad name. Speaking to reporters in Kochi, President of the Association M Sasikumar emphasised that it is in fact easier to run wearing a veshti. “This summer, we will introduce a veshti called `President Veshti’ and organise a race on the Mullaperiyar dam to demonstrate how fast Malayalees can run wearing a veshti. We will invite Sreesanth as our chief guest,” he said.
“That is absolutely right,” agreed Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. “In Kerala’s humid climate, wearing a veshti helps in the evaporation of sweat. In my opinion, anyone wearing a veshti should not find his equity reduced as a result. I have even played cricket wearing one.”
This much ado about the veshti has drawn DMK chief M Karunanidhi from across the border into the debate. He said if wearing veshti is a criterion, then he would like to propose the name of his son M K Alagiri for the post of President of India. “He wears veshti, Tamilnadu veshti. Unlike Antony, he can run. He has done enormous service to our family and party so I think he is a deserving candidate,” Karunanidhi said. Political analysts say Karunanidhi wants to ensure Alagiri goes to Rashtrapathi Bhavan so that the road is clear for Stalin to aim for the Tamilnadu chief minister’s post.
Meanwhile to neutralise the candidature of Sam Pitroda and Alagiri, two former chief ministers from Maharashtra have thrown their hat into the ring for the President’s job. Sources close to these politicians told Tenali Rama that it would be in the fitness of things that a Maharashtrian President is succeeded by another Maharashtrian. Pointing to the huge expanse of vacant land in Rashtrapathi Bhavan estate, they showcased their expertise in making judicious use of land and apartments in Maharashtra when they were chief ministers and hence are projecting themselves as the Adarsh choice for the job in Congress circles. Sources told Tenali Rama that a well-known film producer-director is willing to give up land in Maharashtra if he is alloted land near Rashtrapathi Bhavan instead.
P.S. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari has clarified that being a Veshtiboy did not give any candidate an edge over anyone else. “We want someone who is clean from head to toe,” he said.
(Pic courtesy : veethi.com)